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Nation building in Latin America


Admission requirements

Registered as student of Bachelor degree at Leiden or another Dutch University.


This course is about the nation building in Latin America since the colonial period: the ties with the mother country to on the eve of the independence and the different periods of nation-building that the region has known since the independence. Thus, the colonial State, the independence processes, the first phase of the State-nation building, of instability to consolidation and then the collapse of the oligarchic model. Then there are the two main forms of government from 1930: the corporate State and the neo-liberal State (both with democratic and authoritarian regimes). Attention is given to the interactions between economic, political, social and cultural factors, in the different stages of nation-building.
The course is also about the academic methods of analysis and bibliographic research about the Latin American reality.

Course objectives

At the end of the program, students will be able to:
1. The acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the Latin American nation building and also of the Latin American economic and political development in relation to the different forms of political regime.
2. Recognize of the historical periods and socio-economic and political changes in Latin America.
3. Identify the discursive evolution of nation building in Latin America.
4. Make a scientific bibliographic research with interactive presentations.


Timetable LAS

Mode of instruction

The course consists of lecturers (50%); the other half is spent on tutorials (techniques of bibliographic research, individual analysis of scientific literature and presentations by students).

Course Load

5 EC = 140 hours in total.

  • Lectures: 12 hours

  • Practical work: 12 hours

  • Preparation tutorials: 24 hours

  • Tutoring: 8 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 30 hours

  • Assignment(s): 8 hours

  • Preparation exam: 20 hours

  • Exam(s): 26 hours

Assessment method


The assessment method consists of written examination and a bibliographic review on a specific topic that is treated during the course (according to a list of topics). This bibliographic review will be made in groups of two students and consists of two parts:

A. An oral presentation of 10 minutes (5 minutes per student).
The aspects which are evaluated are: (a) clarity in the explanation (b) relevance of the chosen theme concerning de nation building (c) suitability of the keywords (d) summarize skills. (e) quality of the employed resources.

B. Bibliographic review. This is a document of at least 6 and up to 7 pages, with a selection of specific bibliographic resources (books, journals, thesis, and dissertations) related to the chosen topic of the presentation.
The aspects that are assessed are: (a) coherence and clarity in writing (b) level of the contents analysis (c) quality and quantity of the collected bibliographical resources (d) correct use of APA system (e) lay-out.

C. Written exam with closed questions (multiple choice) and short open questions. The aspects which are evaluated in the short open questions are: (a) coherence and clarity in writing (b) quality of the content and argumentation (c) writing in academic language (d) summarize skills.


A. Presentation: 20% of the final mark.
B. Bibliographic report: 30% of the final mark.
C. Written exam: 50% of the final mark


Resit exam takes place if the final mark is less than 6.0. Resit exam consists of an written examination, with the same assessment criteria as the exam.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials (literature and PowerPoint presentation of each session),

  • methodological indications and instructions about the structure of presentations and bibliographic report,

  • specific information about each college.

Reading list

  • ANDERSON, Benedict (1996). Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

  • KEEN, Benjamin & HAYNES, Keith (2013). A History of Latin America. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 9th ed.

  • BAUMANN, Gerd (1994). The Multicultural Riddle: Rethinking National, Ethnic and Religious Identities (Zones of Religion). London: Routledge.

  • BAUMANN, Gerd & GINGRICH, Andre (2004). Grammars of identity/alterity: a structural approach. New York: Berghahn Books.
    Complementary literature for specific issues of the presentations and bibliographic report (minimal 20 specific bibliographic references).

Also additional articles on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in Engels and Nederlands

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
Dr. P.A. Isla Monsalve

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Class attendance is compulsory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of three sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments on the student.